Taiwan's biggest and busiest airport, Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) is located in the city of the same name, about 25 miles west of Taipei and its greater New Taipei City municipality. It is comprised of two terminals, and is the base and hub for two Taiwanese carriers: EVA Air and China Airlines, which offer direct flights to the U.S., Canada, and Europe. TPE is also home to EVA Air's adorable Hello Kitty-themed check-in area (its fleet boasts Hello Kitty themes planes as well).
To help you optimize your Taoyuan Airport experience, we've created an all-inclusive guide to TPE, with a rundown of highlights, food and drink offerings, transportation to and from Taipei, and helpful hints.
Airport Code, Location, and Contact Information
- Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Code: TPE
- Location: No. 9, Hangzhan S Rd, Dayuan District, Taoyuan City, Taiwan 33758
- Website: https://www.taoyuanairport.com.tw/main_en/
- Flight tracker: https://www.taoyuan-airport.com/main_en/flight_arrival.aspx?uid=443&pid=419
- Phone Number: +886-3-2735081
Know Before You Go
According to Skytrax's "World's Top 100 Airports" list, Taoyuan Airport was the 13th best airport in 2019; in 2020, it ranked no. 2 for Best Immigration Status, no. 10 for Best Security, and no. 9 for Best Airport Staff. TPE services an average of 45 million passengers a year, though a new record high of 48.69 million was set in 2019. Both the busiest and quietest travel dates fall around the Chinese New Year, with even a few hours on key dates making a difference between snaking check-in lines and a veritable ghost town.
There are currently two Terminals in operation, 1 and 2. (A third terminal is in the works, and is slated to open in 2024.) For traveling between T1 and T2, there's a free skytrain that runs in two- to four-minute intervals from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and four- to eight-minute intervals from 10 p.m. to midnight. For service beyond midnight, you can summon a train by pressing a button. A free shuttle bus also offers transit between both terminals.
There are two paid parking lots for Terminal 1—one off Provincial Highway 4, another off National Highway 2—and two more at Terminal 2. The first 30 minutes, from entry to exit, are free, but charges accrue beyond that point. For regular-size passenger vehicles, the charge is NT$30 for the first hour, and NT$20 every additional 30 minutes parked; the daily maximum is set at NT$490 per day. Large vehicles cost NT$60 for the first hour of parking, NT$40 for each 30-minute segment after that, and NT$980 per day. Payment is accepted in the form of cash and Taiwan's tourist-friendly, rechargeable iPass, which is also good on the MRT system and in partner retail businesses.
The Taoyuan International Airport website includes routes in English, which tell you the main highways to take depending on your departure/destination point. Do note that there are designated lanes for buses, cars, and taxis at the terminals, and designated parking at the arrivals area for cars and taxis. Rental cars are available at both terminals.
Public Transportation and Taxis
The Taipei Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) has been running trains between Taoyuan and Taipei since it debuted in 2017. There are two MRT trains to choose from: the Commuter, which makes all local stops, and the Express train. The major hub and entry/exit point for both is Taipei Main Station; conveniently, MRT offers a baggage check-in service for travelers heading to the airport from there. You can also connect to Taiwan's High Speed Rail system's Taoyuan MRT stop. The first and last trains typically start and end at 6 a.m. and 11:30 p.m.
Taoyuan's most cost-effective—albeit potentially time-consuming option depending on your drop-off point—is its fleet of private bus services. Taipei buses run about every 15 to 20 minutes, with drop-off locations including hotels and major public transportation hubs. There are also buses that service Songshan Airport and cities including Taichung and Hsinchu. Check at the bus counters for which specific line and bus will best serve your needs.
Taxis can be found outside both Terminals and operate 24 hours.
Where to Eat and Drink
Terminal 2 offers mostly food court-style offerings on its fourth floor, including a location of Taiwanese beef noodle stall Lin Dong Fan, which ranks among the country's yummiest (the deeply-flavored brown broth, noodle, and braised beef tendon dish is a quintessential Taiwan eat); Japan's Mos Burger; wonton noodle vendor Wenzhou Big Wonton; and Starbucks.
June 2019 saw the opening of the "Atlas of Taiwan Gourmet" food court, which boasts 21 brand name establishments encompassing Taiwanese, Korean, Japanese, and international fare. Atlas is found in Terminal 2's B2 level, where you'll find other eclectic offerings and a 7-11 convenience store.
Over in Terminal 1, the B1 level is a virtual treasure trove of food court-style stalls, with options such as black pork meatball purveyor Hsinchu Hai Rai, Ichiban Ramen, a Mos Burger, and U.S. fast food brands like McDonald's. The terminal's 3F level, meanwhile, is worth a stop for its Sunmai Bar, where you can sample the Taiwanese craft brewery's honey-infused beer; a Halal Food stall (at Gate B7); and the fusion Bistro: D.
Where to Shop
If you didn't get a chance to visit Taiwan's Eslite Bookstore chain and peruse its amazing local crafts, toys, and souvenirs, there are plenty of shops carrying some of the same merchandise at TPE. The Ever Rich Duty-Free boasts locations in both terminals; head to the one in Terminal 1's 3F level for Disney and Sanrio merchandise.
Terminal 2 is dominated by the Chengmeng and Tasameng brand shops, which also offer a wide variety of merchandise including Taiwan-centric crafts and art, teas, books, and more. And for the Kitty-obsessed, near EVA Air's Hello Kitty Gate (C3) is a Sanrio/Kitty-themed store.
How to Spend Your Layover
If your flight transfer/layover lasts between 7 and 24 hours, and you have an R.O.C. visa or arrive from a country without a visa requirement, Taiwan's Tourism board offers a free half-day tour that you can register for online in advance (do note only 12 seats are available). There are two trips daily: one that runs from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and the other from 2 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. Check the respective itineraries and additional details and requirements on Taiwan Tourism's website.
If you choose to leave, luggage can be stored in 24 hour "smart lockers" in both T1 and T2. Available in three sizes—small, medium, and large—the cost is NT$40, NT$60, and NT$80 for three hours.
Need to catch a snooze? The Plaza Premium Lounge Transit Hotel is located on the fourth floor of Terminal 2. If you don't mind leaving the airport, you can take a free shuttle bus from either terminal to Novotel's Taipei Taoyuan International Airport location, just five minutes away.
EVA Air boasts four airport lounges: The Infinity (business class), The Garden (EVA Air Diamond status), The Club (EVA Air Silver), and The Star (Star Alliance Gold). All are located in Terminal 2 past immigration/security; besides Wi-Fi and seating, some of the perks you'll find among these are shower suites (The Star, The Infinity) as well as food and beverages.
Meanwhile, China Airlines has namesake lounges in both Terminal 1 and 2, and in T2's Taoyuan Supreme Lounge. Located opposite gate D4, the latter also accommodates Star Alliance and One World members, as well as almost a dozen other airlines' programs, including Delta, Korean Air, and Malaysia Airlines. Other dedicated airline lounges include Starlux (T1), Cathay Pacific (T1), Singapore Airlines (T2), and Japan Airlines (T2).
With locations in both Terminal 1 and 2, international airport lounge chain Plaza Premium Lounge only requires an entry fee for use of its facilities, which include Wi-Fi, charging stations, a small food buffet, and showers; you can book lounge access online in advance or at the counter. Alternatively, the business traveler-geared Huan Yu VIP Terminal offers an expedited check-in and customs clearance service, plus lounge facilities that come with fitness equipment, showers, food and beverages, and even transport to/from the airport.
WiFi and Charging Stations
Although there is free Wi-Fi in the airport—including in the immigration area so you can check email while waiting in line—service can be a bit spotty and slow outside the lounges. Depending on whether your home carrier offers free or inexpensive cellular data in Taiwan, you might want to consider a local SIM chip and plan, which tends to be very affordable. Local and international traveler-geared carriers are located in both terminals' arrival areas and also post-security.
Charging stations, including USB ports, are found throughout the airport. Note that although some 5,000 ports were added in 2016, these can seem scarce and highly coveted outside of the lounges.
Taoyuan Airport Tips and Facts
- Hello Kitty! fans are in for a treat if flying EVA Airlines. They boast not only a fleet of special Hello Kitty-themed planes (the on-board meals are adorable), but they also have an unmistakeable, pink-hued Hello Kitty! e-check-in at Terminal 2; a colorful Hello Kitty! gate/lounge (C3) and playground; and a little, pink Hello Kitty! house that actually serves as a breastfeeding area.
- One treat worth seeking out—and is very under the radar—is the free massage chairs. They have coin slots, but the tokens are free and supplied by the business next door. Find them in T1 at departure area 3F, the 2F transfer area (between gates A3 and A4, and B7 and B8), and Terminal 2's 3D departures hall (between gates C8 and C9, and D1 and D2).
- Art lovers should spend a little time exploring Terminal 2, which features a gallery with public art installations. Taiwanese artists explore themes of flight, technology, and travel through these works.